Lessons That Endure: The Stories We Tell Our Children

The other day, over breakfast, the kids and I were discussing the issue of inflation.

Well, not quite actually. ๐Ÿ˜…

None of these kids are over the age of ten. However, we did converse about the rising prices of goods and services.

My 7-year-old asked:

“Mama, why do you buy this brand of milk and not the old brand you used to get from the other grocery store?”

I explained to them how product prices had increased.

The kids then debated amongst themselves about the appropriate prices for different food items, calling out crazy numbers for milk, cheese, eggs and bread as I listened on in amusement.

Then, my 8-year-old declared:

“If I had a grocery store, I’d sell everything there for free! People can just come and take whatever they want!”

The sheer innocence and purity of heart made me smile. I replied to him, saying:

“That’s very nice of you, but that’s not really a business model that would work. This is because you need to spend money to buy all the things in your store.”

We spoke about the concept of ribh (profit), which the kids recalled well from the sirah.

The 10-year-old commented:

“Yeah, the Prophet ุตู„ู‰ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนู„ูŠู‡ ูˆุณู„ู… made the most amount of profit when he went to Ash-Sham with Khadijah’s caravan. He did the best out of all the tujjar (traders/ businessmen) who traded for her.”

My 8-year-old is particularly soft-hearted and generous. He understood the concept of buying and selling and the importance of making a profit, but he still felt compelled to help people.

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He responded with:

“Well, fine. I’ll make everything in my store one dollar. That should make a bit of money.”

So I said:

“Yes, but probably not enough. Each item will cost you more than just one dollar to buy yourself, so if you sell it for a dollar, you’re incurring a loss and still making no profit.”

I paused and considered taking another approach, saying:

“How would you provide for your wife and children?”

He grinned at me and said immediately without skipping a beat,

“…ุฃุจู‚ูŠ ู„ูŽู‡ูู…ู ุงู„ู„ู‘ูŽู‡ูŽ ูˆุฑุณูˆู„ูŽู‡ู”

“I leave for them Allah and His Messenger…”

I laughed and gave my wonderful boy a hug. He was quoting Sayyiduna Abu Bakr ุฑุถูŠ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนู†ู‡.

When the Prophet ุตู„ู‰ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนู„ูŠู‡ ูˆุณู„ู… encouraged the Sahaba to contribute towards gathering money before one of the battles, the Muslims all pitched in.

Sayyiduna `Umar ุฑุถูŠ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนู†ู‡ arrived with half of all his wealth and gave that in charity.

Soon thereafter, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr ุฑุถูŠ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนู†ู‡ arrived with ALL of his wealth to give in charity.

The Prophet ุตู„ู‰ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนู„ูŠู‡ ูˆุณู„ู… asked Abu Bakr ุฑุถูŠ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนู†ู‡:

“ูŠุง ุฃุจุง ุจูŽูƒุฑู ู…ุง ุฃุจู‚ูŽูŠุชูŽ ู„ุฃูŽู‡ู’ู„ููƒูŽุŸ”

“And what did you leave for your family, O Abu Bakr?”

Sayyiduna Abu Bakr ุฑุถูŠ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนู†ู‡, whose heart is ever full of iman and complete tawakkul, replied:

“…ุฃุจู‚ูŠุชู ู„ูŽู‡ูู…ู ุงู„ู„ู‘ูŽู‡ูŽ ูˆุฑุณูˆู„ูŽู‡ู”

“I left for them Allah and His Messenger…” (Jami’ al-Tirmidhi)

My dear fellow parents, the things you teach your children and the stories that you tell them will remain with them.

Tell your children the best, the most beautiful and the most wholesome of storiesโ โ€”the lives and times of the blessed final Prophet, Muhammad ุตู„ู‰ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนู„ูŠู‡ ูˆุณู„ู… and his amazing Sahabah.

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โค may ALLAH reward you, give you more Tawfeeq and let yourself and your children and family be as He wishes you to be.